Wednesday, July 24, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

This may not be the question which many members of parliament in Malaysia and also the whole of Indonesia and the other so-called democratic countries in the world may like.

After all, politics in these countries have all the time been dominated by those who think they have leadership quality and who can do good to their respective countries.

But in most cases, the opposite may be true, that those who enter politics and run for office are mostly those who knew they could not excel in education; they who are not talented but who are not ashamed for trusting themselves in public eye.

In Aceh any Melayu-Muslim who wants to run in the elections in the country must show to everybody that he can read the Holy Koran.

In Iran, any parliamentary candidate must be someone who has at least a master’s degree in anything.

And in America, if a person who wants to run for public office, he must be a person with strong morals; even if there are some questions on his social and personal activities, he has to back off from the race.

In Malaysia and most of the other countries in the world, there are no such rulings or expectations.

So no wonder, even if someone has been embroiled in sexual scandals and controversies, and had been charged in court, he can still run for parliament.

And if the law established in Iran is imposed in Malaysia, chances are almost everybody in the parliament today is not qualified to be members of parliament since not many of them do have a master’s degree on anything.

And chances, too, most of the Melayu-Muslim members of parliament are also not qualified to be in parliament because they are not able to read the Holy Koran; they may learn to read the book and make it though, if the ruling had been applied long before they wanted to run for office.

And will there be some people in parliament who will moot the ideas? Chances are they will not be any of them.

It was good for Iran to introduce the law barring those who are not academically qualified from running for parliament as they can turn it into a circus with their antics and poor grasp of the issues they want to debate in.

This can be seen in the opposition in the Malaysian parliament since they are the ones who are always trying to find faults on anything that the backbenchers are trying to explain.

But I am not sure if a Melayu-Muslim can read the Holy Koran his mouth can become pure.

It may be true in Aceh, but that cannot happen in Malaysia as there are some individuals in the opposition who have been known to have bad mouths, who like to spout anything as long as it sounds plausible to them because they think they know more about Islam than all the others so they are qualified to pass edicts or ‘fatwa’ whenever they please.

And why is America more concerned about their members of parliament or Congress?

They are not Muslims and the average Americans too do not seem to mind what their neighbors do.

Yet, for anyone who wants to run for office, especially for president, the majority of the Americans and also their free press often expect them to be people with high morals.

Morality and upholding high religious values are things which are not important to many Americans, otherwise, they would have commented vehemently on how Hollywood and their media have behaved all through the years.

But this they did not dare to do.

And they also do not care to comment on the personal antics of the Hollywood stars no matter how crude they are. They leave this to themselves to decide what they want to do with their lives.

In politics, Americans seem to care who they vote for and who is elected to office.

But they care if anyone who wants to run for public office has some sexual misconduct, and those who have been charged by the court of public opinion and the media had to move out of the race despite them not having been charged for any crime or in court; they just go away quietly.

But in Malaysia this does not happen; one can still go on campaigning and even win a seat in parliament, despite the obvious when the candidates concern do not care to discuss moral as well as religious issues in public.

This can lead anyone to think that there is veracity to all the allegations that had been hurled on those candidates; otherwise, they could easily scoff them. 

And in Malaysia there are cases when members of parliament are not well educated, so much so that they are not able to speak or write in Melayu well; so they are not able to debate.

They end up sitting through the sessions in parliament and vote en bloc with their colleagues in the government or opposition.

Maybe, a ruling that forces anyone wishing to run for parliament to have a certain level of the mastery of Melayu can be imposed in Malaysia.

Will those who are not Melayu want to disagree this? After all, they are the ones who will not be able to meet with the demands and who will not like the suggestion despite it being a good suggestion.

After all the gift of the gab is something which all members of parliament must have to allow him to debate, without this talent, they are left with no ‘weapon’ to use in it.

So no wonder, most of the debates that we can see on television are conducted at such a low level simply because there are some members of the opposition are not conversant in Melayu.

But does this mean that the members of parliament or state assembly in Aceh, the Majlis in Iran and the House of Representatives and Congress in America are doing a good job in managing their own countries?

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